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Re: All hail Neo!

From: Marshall Spight <marshall.spight_at_gmail.com>
Date: 26 Apr 2006 00:55:22 -0700
Message-ID: <1146038122.265474.241270@j33g2000cwa.googlegroups.com>


Frank Hamersley wrote:
>
> I can cope with that - I would have no problem being forced to write
>
> "select avg(age) from table where age is not null"
>
> to get the crappy statistic that it is if the user demanded it.

I dunno. If you have a whole lot of people and most of them have their ages filled in and a few don't, are you ever going to want to ask, "what is the average age", since the answer will always be "unknown." Doesn't seem much use to me. If you want to know if any of them are unknown, you could ask that specifically. But if you want to know the average age, then you want to know the average of the data you have; you're not asking about the data you don't have because you don't have it. The only useful query in there is "give me the average age for the data I have"; why should we make the way you ask for that longer winded than other, never-useful queries?

And how "crappy" is that statistic anyway? Probably not at all crappy. It's probably exactly what you want.

The idea of null as something that taints everything it touches doesn't seem useful or practical to me.

Marshall Received on Wed Apr 26 2006 - 02:55:22 CDT

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